Study: Children who get COVID-19 risk developing diabetes according to CDC research

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Friday appears to show that children who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection are at an increased risk of developing Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

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According to the results, researchers found a 2.6-fold increase in new diabetes cases among children who had recovered from a COVID-19 infection. In a second data set, they found a 30% increase.

“Even a 30% increase is a big increase in risk,” Sharon Saydah, the study’s lead author and a CDC researcher, told The New York Times.

The increases in both types of diabetes were seen not only in those who had been sick with COVID-19 but also in those who were asymptomatic but tested positive.

The study used two U.S. insurance claim databases to look at diabetes diagnoses made in children under 18 between July and Dec. 9, 2021. Researchers compared those who had COVID-19 with those who did not.

The study looked at 24 hospitals in 20 states.

According to Saydah, it’s not clear if the diabetes that comes soon after a COVID-19 infection would be a chronic condition or resolve itself after some time.

Many of the children in the study were diagnosed only after having an episode of diabetic ketoacidosis, according to the study results. Ketoacidosis occurs when the body doesn’t have enough insulin to allow blood sugar into cells to use for energy.

Dr. Saydah and her colleagues did not distinguish between types of diabetes, including both Type 1 and Type 2 in their analysis. The increases were seen both among those who had been ill with COVID-19, and those who were asymptomatic but tested positive.